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Wye Farmers’ Market goes online from Saturday 4th April

Wye Farmers' Market in Easter 2019, with hundreds of people enjoying the spring sunshine on The Green

The medieval market square in Wye has seen many changes over the centuries, but Saturday 4th April will make history. The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing the Wye Farmers' Market producers to offer their range of local produce online. Instead of the normal market stalls, The Green will act as a collection point where customers can pick up their pre-ordered local produce at an allocated time - and then leave. Or instead, when ordering they can opt to have a free home delivery in Wye.

The new online ordering system will close at 12.00 midday Friday 3rd March to give the producers time to prepare and pack their customers' orders. If Wye's first 'online' market proves successful, the organisers aim to extend this home delivery service to neighbouring parishes in future.

The change to online ordering is a quick and practical adaptation to an unprecedented threat to public health. Fortunately, as the government restrictions do not apply to online retail, this way forward is both safe and legal.

The photo above shows the Easter market in April 2019. Although residents will miss the familiar stalls on the Green, it is clear that for the foreseeable the market cannot function as a social occasion, or as a place to meet and enjoy a chat in the spring sunshine. Nor can the Latin School open for coffee and exhibitions.

For the latest details and a link to the online system, please go to the Wye Farmers' Market website. Strange though it may seem, during this pandemic customers can also support their local food producers and their community by shopping and paying remotely, and by staying safely at home.

Reassuringly, the range of other essential retail businesses like the Co-op, Wye Chemist, Wye News, Wye Bakery, Wakelins, Wye Post Office and Perry Court Farm Shop are all still very much open.

To slow the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 on Monday 23rd March the government closed 'all outdoor and indoor markets and non-essential business premises' . The main exception being 'market stalls which offer essential retails such as grocery and food.' However, the government requires that farmers' market stall holders must, like all other retailers, serve their customers at a separation distance of at least two metres, and keep the same gap between customers. They must also ensure that the shopping spaces are not crowded and there is there is a queue control system in place. All these government public health constraints on the market producers are necessary to protect themselves, their customers and families living around The Green. However, they present a management challenge for an informal open air market like Wye. Wye Farmers' Market is using an online ordering system provided by Kent Food Hubs.

Posted: Wed, 01 Apr 2020 21:34 by Parish Admin

Tags: Coronavirus, Covid-19, Latin School, Local Food, Pandemic, The Green, Wakelins the Butcher, Wye Bakery, Wye Chemist, Wye Co-op, Wye Farmers’ Market, Wye News, Wye Post Office